What is a trickster character in African and African American folklore?

that were influenced by African folk tradition, landscape, and wildlife. By definition, tricksters are animals or characters who, while ostensibly disadvantaged and weak in a contest of wills, power, and/or resources, succeed in getting the best of their larger, more powerful adversaries.

What is a trickster in Africa?

Easily the most famous African tricksters are the West African gods Eshu, also known as Elegbara or Legba, and Ananse (Anansi) the Spider. Eshu is an orisha, one of the spirits of Yoruba and Fon mythology. … Legba is the spirit of verbal and nonverbal communication, a god of fertility, and the guardian of crossroads.

What is a trickster in folklore and folktales?

A trickster is a character in folktales that usually appears as an animal who has human traits — like being able to talk. Trickster tales are used to entertain and often to teach lessons about how to behave and treat other people.

Are tricksters evil?

Tricksters are mischievous characters throughout folklore and myth which have a secret knowledge or power. … One thing we must remember about a trickster is that they are not evil, per se. Tricksters can be evil by our modern definition, but more often are simply enjoying the chaos they create.

What are the seven categories of African American folklore?

In general, most African-American Folktales fall into one of seven categories: tales of origin, tales of trickery and trouble, tales of triumph over natural or supernatural evils, comic heartwarming tales, tales teaching life lessons, tales of ghosts and spirits, and tales of slaves and their slave-owners.

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What is West African storytelling?

In the region of West Africa known as the western Sahel, legendary tales are shared and passed down through different forms of expression. While some famous tales are written down, spoken word is the most well-known way to tell these kinds of stories.

What animals are tricksters in African mythology?

West African trickster stories star Tortoise, Anansi the Spider, Zomo the Hare (African storytellers brought the latter to America where it was integrated with the native American hare eventually becoming Bre’r Rabbit) or Eshu, the mischievous messenger of the gods in Yoruba (Nigeria) mythology.

Can a trickster be a hero?

Trickster characters are similar to heroes in the way that they both serve to teach something. In mythology, tricksters are used to teach us how to not make the mistakes that they made. In different myths these characters are used teach different things.

African stories